3 Tips for the 40-plus Singaporean to Cope With Job-search Stress

Jobseekers in their 40s know the anxiety of waiting for a response from employers. Here’s how to cope and make your job hunt easier.

Finding the right job is a process that takes time, no matter what your age. It’s true that the job prospects in professional, managerial, executive or technical (PMET) roles are on a gradual upswing in Singapore, with the government announcing coordinated efforts to match Singaporeans to jobs in the five key industries of healthcare, infocomm and media, wholesale trade, professional services and financial services. But if you are searching for a job in your 40s, the stakes are often higher, with your children’s higher education expenses, caregiving for your elderly parents and other responsibilities to consider.

Have a Schedule in Place

Your subconscious needs to realise you are in control, so have a timetable in place. This will prevent you from slipping into unproductivity — one of the easiest ways to fall into depression. Learn how you can manage daily finances while embarking on active job hunting in your 40s. An ideal schedule during your job search phase could be as follows:

  • Start your day with the morning sun. Go for a walk along the Park Connector Network or the East Coast Park. Spend a little time doing some stretches in your community fitness corner.
  • Set aside a few hours in the morning solely to update your resume, research and shortlist companies to apply to, and send out job applications.
  • Follow up on applications sent out earlier and on other potential job leads from the past.
  • Take a break in the evening to go out, socialise and network. There are a number of programmes, networking events and workshops in Singapore that cater to jobseekers.

Draw Up a Financial Plan

Financial experts suggest setting aside nine to 12 months of your average daily expenses in case of an emergency, such as sudden unemployment, illness in the family and/or unexpected big-ticket expenses. But what if you don’t have an emergency fund, and suddenly find yourself in need of a new job?

Begin by determining how much you are currently spending on essentials such as rent or mortgage payments, daily meals, grocery shopping, utilities, insurance and your children’s education. Then figure out which of these expenses can be reduced. For example, make a conscious decision to choose less expensive places when dining out and use public transport instead of taking a taxi.

 

You could even pick one of the many free budgeting apps available, such as Seedly or Toshl Finance, to track your ongoing expenses. What’s more, by the time you find a job, you might even have saved some extra to treat yourself.

businessman using calculator on business diagram, financial report with coins and hand putting money coins to bank saving container,Save money concept

Speak to a Career Coach

If you have been applying for jobs on your own for a long time without much success, it’s worth getting in touch with a career coach for support. But before you seek one out, think carefully about what you are looking for, the type of job and industry you are interested in, your expected salary and anything else you would look for in an employer. This helps your career coach narrow down their search to the openings you have the best chance of securing. They will provide you with more information on the roles and responsibilities of your preferred job to help you make an informed decision and also guide you on the key skills to highlight in order to match what employers are looking for.

It’s important not to be disheartened and fall into self-doubt. Keeping your stress levels from rising is key to getting through the months when you don’t hear back from prospective employers. Hopefully these tips will keep you focused and on-task during your job search!

References:

  1. TODAY Online, 19 July 2017 — https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/new-govt-effort-focus-nudging-workers-jobs-future-5-sectors
  2. DollarsAndSense.sg, 25 September 2015 — https://dollarsandsense.sg/how-much-should-my-emergency-fund-be/
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